In this Book

summary
In eighteenth-century New Orleans, the legal testimony of some 150 enslaved women and men--like the testimony of free colonists--was meticulously recorded and preserved. Questioned in criminal trials as defendants, victims, and witnesses about attacks, murders, robberies, and escapes, they answered with stories about themselves, stories that rebutted the premise on which slavery was founded.

Focusing on four especially dramatic court cases, Voices of the Enslaved draws us into Louisiana's courtrooms, prisons, courtyards, plantations, bayous, and convents to understand how the enslaved viewed and experienced their worlds. As they testified, these individuals charted their movement between West African, indigenous, and colonial cultures; they pronounced their moral and religious values; and they registered their responses to labor, to violence, and, above all, to the intimate romantic and familial bonds they sought to create and protect. Their words--punctuated by the cadences of Creole and rich with metaphor--produced riveting autobiographical narratives as they veered from the questions posed by interrogators.

Carefully assessing what we can discover, what we might guess, and what has been lost forever, Sophie White offers both a richly textured account of slavery in French Louisiana and a powerful meditation on the limits and possibilities of the archive.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. free access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
  3. free access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-x
  3. free access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Contents
  2. p. xi
  3. free access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. xii-xiv
  3. free access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. xv-xvi
  3. free access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Note on Translation and Transcription
  2. pp. xvii-xix
  3. free access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Image Plates
  2. free access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Voices of the Enslaved
  1. “Said, Without Being Asked”: An Introduction
  2. pp. 1-26
  3. free access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. “Only in Default of Whites”: Slave Testimony and Court Procedure
  2. pp. 27-47
  3. free access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. “It’s Only from God That We Ask Forgiveness”: Louison
  2. pp. 48-95
  3. free access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. “Not So Denatured as to Kill Her Child”: Marie-Jeanne and Lisette
  2. pp. 96-131
  3. free access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. “Our Place”: Francisque, Démocrite, and Hector
  2. pp. 132-171
  3. free access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. “Asleep in Their Bed at the Door of Their Cabin”: Kenet and Jean-Baptiste
  2. pp. 172-215
  3. free access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Epilogue: Toward an Intellectual Critique of Slavery?
  2. pp. 216-226
  3. free access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Note
  2. pp. 227-274
  3. free access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Index
  2. pp. 275-286
  3. free access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents

Additional Information

ISBN
9781469654065
Related ISBN
9781469654041
MARC Record
OCLC
1134695206
Pages
352
Launched on MUSE
2020-01-03
Language
English
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.